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B P Wadia - A biography Part 6 of 7

Feb 23, 1998 06:59 PM
by M K Ramadoss

Wad-bb1 (wad-f6)/WAD-BB

Continued from 5 of 7

After the opening of the Bangalore Lodge, which was only about 190 miles
away from Ooty, he generally cut short his stay in Ooty to come and work
intensively with the Bangalore Lodge until the active season brought him
back to Bombay around mid- August.  Bombay is about 800 miles North West of

Even then, there was no such thing as a general invitation to associates to
come for a joint vacation, joint study, the TS seems to do in
America (Krotona, Ojai.  England.  Switzerland, and other countries.)

So I have had some doubts about the practice, as it is seems to me to be
physically and psychically "pleasing" to the personality, but lacks a
certain feeling of the intensive work and discipline directed to perfecting
the personality connected with it.

If you read WQJ's Practical Theosophy  (Judge Articles, Vol. II, p. 395...)
you will see that Mr. Judge recommends the promulgation of Karma and
Reincarnation as being our primary tasks.  That is active, not passive.

If you study Mr. Judge's work, he was constantly encouraging his friends to
work, to promulgate, to seek for those souls who might be interested in the
message of Theosophy.

All of Mr. Judge's time and all the money that came to him for Theosophical
use was employed in this.  The funds of the T S in America were spent right
away in this work of promulgation, and they provided great results.

In letters written to Col. Olcott, Judge states that the money received
ought to be translated into active work for Theosophy immediately, and not
"laid up" in a "fund" for some future use.  [see WQJ - "On Funds and
Property,"  The Path, Vol. 8, p. 354]



Was Mr. Wadia beginning a revolution in Adyar in the period around 1918/20
?  This you say has been rumored and where there is a fire there is smoke,
etc... ?


In November 1958, Miss Ethel Beswick, who had been working with Mr. Wadia
and Mr. T. L. Crombie in Adyar during the period around 1918-1920 wrote a
short biographical sketch of the late Mr. T. L. Crombie's life.  From this
we read:--

" the years passed he (Crombie) became increasingly dissatisfied with
the part played by the T.S. in the world, for he realized more and more
that Theosophy pure and simple was not being taught and the great mission
of the Theosophical Movement of our century was being lost sight of.  The
psychic pronouncement of Mr Leadbeater were ousting the works of Madame
Blavatsky, and the great ideal of the Masters of Wisdom was being degraded.
 Living in Adyar itself he continued his friendship with B.P.Wadia and his
respect grew.  He recognized Shri Wadia's integrity of character and
devotion to H.P.Blavatsky and Theosophy, and they discussed what could be
done to bring the Society once again in line with the Original Impulse of
the Movement..

Could a change be brought about within the Society?  If not, then it would
have to be done from outside.  Plans began to be made so that if all
efforts to bring the change from within the Society failed another effort
could be made which would bring Theosophy pure and simple back into the

These plans included the founding of an international magazine in  which
writers of the world would be free to express the their views, in which
Theosophical principles could be expounded, and where writers who were
struggling to pierce through the ordinary levels of thought into the
universal could find expression.

Further, H.P.Blavatsky had said that it was the duty of the Society to see
that its members were kept in touch with the organization, and a magazine
The Vahan had been started in her time and sent free, at first, to members.
 Something along this line would be needed for those Theosophical students
who wished to study Theosophy, and though it would not be sent free to all,
the cost would be kept down to the minimum.

One other very important thing had to be done.  One of the Founders of the
Theosophical Society in 1875, Mr. William Quan Judge, the faithful pupil
and co-worker with H.P.B., who had died in 1896, had to be brought from the
disgrace into which he had been thrust to his true position in the
Theosophic world.

If, as H.P.B. had stated in her first book Isis Unveiled it is the duty of
a Theosophist to remove the slur on "calumniated reputations," then it was
surely a Theosophic duty to clear up the position as regards Mr. Judge.  If
this could not be done, after strenuous efforts, within the Society, then
it would have to be done outside.

To have a permanent home in India the present house [originally named
"Brookhampton," renamed: "Guru Mandir" by Mr. Wadia] in Ootacamund was bought.

Possibilities of a change in India looked poor in 1921 when Shri B.P.Wadia
left India for Europe and America--his second visit.  By July 1922 he had
lost all hope of any such change and resigned his membership...Some months
later Mr. Crombie left Adyar and resigned from the Society...

>From 1922 to 1928 Shri B.P.Wadia was in the United States working with the
United Lodge of Theosophists, a body of students of Theosophy devoted to
studying the works of Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Judge, without officials,
dues or regulations.

In collaboration with the parent Lodge at Los Angeles, founded by Mr.
Robert Crosbie in 1909, he founded Lodges in New York, Washington D.C., and
Philadelphia.  Plans were made for republishing the writings of H.P.B. and
W.Q.J., and in 1925, the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Theosophical
Movement of this century, an edition was published of The Secret Doctrine
..unaltered in any way...

Mr. Crombie visited Mr. Wadia in New York and the plans already formulated
took firmer shape...

In 1928 Shri Wadia's work in the U.S.A. being finished he left for India
via London...the U.L.T. was founded in Paris and plans were made for one in

[This is quoted from pp 2-4 of Theodore Leslie Crombie, Friend of India, by
Ethel Beswick -- Nov. 1958,,  Pub.: International Book House Ltd., 9 Ash
Lane, Bombay 1, India]

Further Extracts from a Private Letter - WK -

"...similarly, the work of Mr. Wadia.  His faithfulness to HPB, WQJ, and to
the ideals of Theosophy, and function of the ULT are all reflected in his

Originally, when he knew only of the TS and made himself into a student of
HPB through his study of The Secret Doctrine, and of Isis Unveiled, he
followed faithfully the policies of the T S, so long as he was in it and
had responsibility to it.

When he entered Adyar to work there, Col. Olcott was still alive.  He gave
his pledge then to that venerable (though often mistaken) man to work for
Theosophy under him.  Olcott accepted this offer.  After Olcott' death, he
gave the same pledge to Annie Besant, believing her to be the one primarily
responsible for carrying on the work of HPB.  [ He knew nothing at that
time of W. Q. Judge, or of the history of the split in the TS in America
after HPB's death.  Those matters had been, by then, covered over and
largely forgotten in the TS in Adyar, in India. ]

When, in 1919, he went to America and learned of the work and the
principles of WQJ through associates of the ULT, and of the true history of
the modern Theosophical Movement, he realized that a change was to be made
by him to be true to his primary vow:  to HPB, and to the support of her
work and of the Objects of The Work in the World that the Masters had
instituted through Her.

It had been made clear to him how the T S had failed.  He knew that the T S
ought to be restored to its original objectives and work, but he did not
know if Annie Besant would agree to do that.  In any case he was faced with
a trial:  whether to stay on with the T S, which he now knew to be false to
its origins, or whether he should try to redress it, by going directly to
Annie Besant, and asking her to publicly redress the wrongs done to Mr.
Judge, and thus begin the hard process of swinging the whole T S back into
the channels that HPB and the Masters had originally designed it should

When he returned to India in 1921-22, after his work in Europe and America,
he told Annie Besant what he had discovered about Judge, and about the band
of students in the ULT who were following the Original Program.  He asked
her to make it public that the wrong done to Judge was to be redressed--as
she agreed had been done, to him, privately.  But, Annie Besant refused to
do this publicly, or to start altering the course of the TS.  He then
resigned, and, getting out of the TS, wrote a magnificent open letter to
all Theosophists where he exposed the situation, his own decision, and
advised them of his joining the ULT and his reasons for that: to "spread
broadcast the writings of HPB and WQJ."

W. E. Whiteman on BPW

[The following is from the pen of Mr. Wadia's long time friend and devoted
companion:  Winifred E. Whiteman of the London, U.K., U.L.T.  Miss Whiteman
served as his literary "agent" in Europe, securing articles for The Aryan
Path magazine (1930-1960);  and also serving as European representative for
The Indian Institute of World Culture, which he had launched in Bangalore,
India, in 1945, and for which she organized a London branch. ]

B. P. Wadia and the Theosophical Movement

"The mighty Theosophical Movement" was a phrase that 'B.P.' often used, and
the adjective seems to match him also--even to his sense of humor.  We owe
the creative and inspiring guidelines, that reinforce and augment those of
Robert Crosbie, the founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists [U.L.T.],
to the breadth as well as the depth of his outlook.

In the opening Editorial of Volume I of The Theosophical Movement, 17th
November 1930, (exactly a year after the Bombay Lodge had started up the
U.L.T. work in India) appeared the following, that echoed the idea that
'B.P.' had himself expressed.

There are two aspects to the Theosophical Movement, the abstract and the

The first is diffused and expansive.  Wherever thought has struggled to be
free, wherever spiritual ideas, as opposed to forms and dogmatism, have
been promulgated, there the great Movement is to be discerned.  This aspect
can rightly be named the Republic of Conscience;  for, wherever human
conscience is ac6M3 ive, in honesty and sincerity, there the potency of
Theosophy is present.  The Aryan Path (founded January 1930) is the vehicle
of this aspect of the Movement, while it also presents teachings of
practical value to the aspirant for the Higher Life and to the students of
the esoteric science.

The other, the concrete and visible aspect of the Movement revolves round
the Teachings of H.P.B. known to the world as H. P. Blavatsky.  Accepting
the cooperation of others she founded the Theosophical Society in 1875 in
the city of New York, under the direct guidance and inspiration of the
Masters, who by birth and affiliation are Indians.

The U.L.T. activities, and the magazine Theosophy (started November 1912)
and The Theosophical Movement were founded to serve the needs of
student-servers of 'Theosophy pure and simple.'  The Aryan Path brought in
contributors, many of them prominent in their own fields, whose writings
and general outlook were significantly part of the more diffused aspect of
the Movement, so much so that The Theosophical Movement, in its section
'Theosophical Activities' gave it equal mention with those of more specific
Theosophical import.

The same ideal and purpose were behind the founding of the Indian Institute
of Culture (as it was named at first) at Bangalore on 11th August 1945
(H.P.B.'s birthday) thus affirming again the link between the two aspects
of the Movement.  The word "World" was included later in its title to
emphasize the breadth of the ideal.

The need to recognize the relationship between the two fields of
Theosophical service continued to be referred to periodically in The
Theosophical Movement.  An article published in its 17th of December 1935
issue. entitled "The Aryan Path" emphasized its dual purpose.  It was to
make the East and the West aware of the beauty and value of each other's
culture, and also to give help to the "very large body of aspirants to the
higher life outside of Theosophical circles" in avoiding the dangers of
sectarianism and psychism.  Secondly, that purpose included Theosophists
also, for, as a Master wrote:

"The sun of Theosophy must shine for all, not for a part.  There is more of
this movement than you have had an inkling of, and the work of the T.S. is
linked in with similar work that is secretly going on in all parts of the

The article further warned:

"The Theosophical student of this generation has to guard himself against
two extremes:  one is to limit the freedom of thought and to live like a
frog who looks upon his pond as the world, with nothing outside;  the other
is to expand and embrace indiscriminately--in the name of brotherhood and
fraternization--falsehood, ignorance and humbug."

The Aryan Path enables the Theosophical student to learn what able minds in
East and West alike are thinking and how many among them understand
propositions of the philosophy of Theosophy even better than himself and
his companions.  It will also show him how the race-mind is unfolding and
in what ways humanity is getting ready for the cycle of 1975.  If The Aryan
path takes Theosophy to the thinking public, it brings in a compact form to
the Theosophical student from the world of science, philosophy and art,
ideas and views and even inspiration which he sorely needs and so helps him
to live and to labor for his Cause in a better fashion.

A further article "Local Theosophists" (The Theosophical Movement, 17th
Nov. 1938) quoted from H.P.B.'s Five Messages that "although there must be
local Branches...there can be no local Theosophists."

The world is wider than any Theosophical organization, and if we would be
universal in character, we must fight against narrowness and keep our
interest in what is going on in the outside world.  And we shall find that
there we have our friends and the "local Theosophist" going to
pass by unheeded a book like Mr. Aldous Huxley's Ends and Means, simply
because H.P.B. is not quoted from or mentioned, therein ?  Is the power of
the Spirit in man to be limited to"Theosophical organizations" only ?
Perish the thought !  We have to look for Theosophical ideas, ideas which,
largely owing to the life of sacrifice of H.P.B. have percolated (albeit
unconsciously to themselves) into the minds of our great thinkers--and
welcome them whenever and wherever we find them.

The magazine, however, was only the starting point, for, once the last
World War was over, the same aim and purpose was further developed,
spreading out into the broader field of the Indian Institute of World
Culture.  This, in addition to its publications, offers a wide range of
talks, exhibitions, drama, dance, film shows and other demonstrations, in
furtherance of its objectives.  In his Inaugural Address at the opening of
the William Quan Judge Hostel for students (the Institute's first unit)
B.P. declared that "in the great and immemorial records of the thoughts of
Sages and Seers certain definite principles of fundamental value are to be

Poets are better social builders than politicians, and the thoughts of
philosophers make a deeper impress and last longer in influence than deeds
of social reformers.  Ideas rule the world and they primarily emanate from
poets and philosophers, from mystics and occultists.  These great ideas
make most suitable foundations.  Once their efficacy is experienced in
application by an individual he leaves behind the world of chaos and strife
and begins to glimpse a world of order, understanding and peace...the
Hostel is part of a larger plan, through which the Ancient Culture which is
neither of the East nor of the West but is universal, will, it is hope,
become manifest.  In the spirit of fraternity and brotherhood men and women
must learn to live in freedom and liberty.

But the heart of B.P.'s efforts was his 'concern' (in the Quaker sense of
the word) for those student-strivers who sought more ardently for greater
power to help the Movement. Only those who know fully the range of his
personal contacts and widespread correspondence could evaluate the measure
of the effects on these of his advice, encouragement and profound heart
wisdom.  The bringing together of some of his articles from The
Theosophical Movement in the little book Living the Life can be summed up
in a sentence from the ending of the first article, a mantram that B.P.'s
own life embodied:

Continued in Part 7 of 7

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